Would you like to know my secrets to achieving balance? Forget about balance. It’s an illusion. “Balance” assumes that we spend an equal amount of time in all or most areas of our life. It is like the image of the “scales” where everything is completely in balance and equal. It assumes that we must spend a certain portion of each week devoted in some equal measure to every item important in our life. As an entrepreneur, finding time for your family, your business, and your leisure time can be challenging. It’s difficult to do it all.
The problem with that is that almost no entrepreneur can actually achieve that. We tend to live such hectic, busy lives it is incredibly difficult to fit it all in. So, what do we do about this? For me, it’s about creating harmony, not balance. This is more than semantics – it is a different way of looking at life. While life can’t be fully in balance, it is possible to create a life that is in harmony with your vision of who you are and what you want to do. If that resonates with you, try these seven secrets to finding harmony in work and life.
1. Be Here Now
These are three simple words that will make a huge difference in creating harmony in your life. Wherever you are, be there. If you are at work, don’t be thinking about the time you didn’t spend with your family the night before or what you should be doing with your spouse or partner. When you are at home, don’t be thinking about the work you have to do at the office. My secret: Wherever you are, be there fully and completely.
2. Be Creative About How You Manage Your Time
Be creative and inventive in finding ways that you can accomplish what you need to do yet still allow you to spend time with the precious people in your life who bring you harmony. And remember, many tasks and projects have a finite timeline. You won’t always have to resort to this type of creativity unless you want to. My secret: Be creative and inventive in finding ways that you can accomplish what you need to do.
3. Integrate Various Elements Of Your Life
For many years, I spent a couple of weeks or more working remotely from my lake house in the mountains. During that time, I worked my normal hours but also had quality time with my family in a vacation setting. Sometimes I would have my staff join me for short retreats and workdays. It was a great way to integrate work-life into a leisure environment. During the last week or so of the stay at the lake house, I exclusively spent time with the family and didn’t think about work. My secret: Look for ways to integrate elements of your life whenever possible.
4. Practice “Letting Go” And “Holding On”
It is not possible to “have it all.” Unfortunately, life involves making choices. Practice understanding what things to say no to and then letting go of them. Think about the things that are truly important in your life and hold on to them with all your might. My secret: Let go of the unimportant things.
5. Be Intentional About Who You “Let In Your Room”
Imagine that you live your entire life in one room and that room had only one door and that door was an “Enter Only” door. Anyone who gets in is there for life. If that were true, would you be more selective about who you let into your room? Everyone I ask that to says a resounding, “YES!” Well, luckily this is only a metaphor. However, when we do let people into our lives that are caustic or difficult, it is very difficult to get them out. My secret: Be more selective about “Who’s In Your Room”.
6. Set Firm Margins
Life for people in this day and age is crazy busy. People will take up every spare moment in your life if you let them, so it is important to create a life that has “margins.” Build free time, family time, and personal time into the margins of your day-to-day existence. If you don’t schedule it, it won’t happen. You’ll be happier when you create margins. My secret: Schedule your time to relax.
7. Work In Your Flame, Not Your Wax (secrets)
When entrepreneurs are doing things they hate to do, they are in their wax – meaning they are doing things that are sapping their energy. When entrepreneurs are doing things that they love to do, they are in their flame. They are energized and excited. My secret: Do those things that you love to do by staying in your flame.
The truth is that when you are 70 years old, you are not going to wish you spent more time at the office. You don’t need to be a workaholic to be successful. Focus on creating harmony in your life with my seven secrets. Be creative. Find ideas from these secrets that work for you and the life you live. Make the time and be innovative. Harmony is created where harmony is sought.